It's a high-stakes week for Donald Trump's presidency, with his credibility on the line on multiple fronts. FBI Director James Comey and NSA Director Mike Rogers are testifying on Capitol Hill Monday before the House Intelligence Committee, during the first hearing into Russian efforts to influence the election. Comey especially is set to be pressed on Trump's claims that he was "wire tapped" by his predecessor, former President Obama. Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, a Republican, opened the hearing by admitting, "We know there was no wire tap on Trump Tower," but said he hoped to learn whether there was any other surveillance into the president or his allies. The result could be two key federal intelligence officials refuting the President's so-far unfounded charge, and calling his trustworthiness into question once again.
Two key promises made by the president also face significant tests this week, as his Supreme Court nominee begins his confirmation hearings and his plan to repeal and replace Obamacare is set to go before the full House for a vote. The SCOTUS nominee, Neil Gorsuch, is expected to sail through the Senate Judiciary Committee, as the highly regarded selection has received positive reviews even from the Democrats he's met with. Gorsuch will certainly be pressed on his commitment to weaken federal regulators (and strengthen the role of the federal judiciary) in overseeing the regulatory state.
The American Health Care Act is expected to be brought for a full vote before the House on Thursday evening, capping a weeks-long process of lobbying and deal-making by House Leadership and the White House to bring skeptical conservatives and moderates on board. The bill has a long way to go before passage—even in the House, where leadership still needs to twist some arms before the vote—but it would be a significant victory for the White House in keeping its promises to Trump's supporters.
Ryan stakes it all. Dueling Russia inquiries operate at cross purposes. And the White House has no regrets.
Here are your must reads:
How Neil Gorsuch Could Dramatically Reshape Government
TIME's Tessa Berenson on Trump's Supreme Court nominee
6 Changes Republicans Want to Their Health Care Bill — And Whether They’ll Happen
TIME's Sam Frizell on the state of the negotiations
Ryan Stakes It All on Obamacare Repeal
His tenuous relationship with President Donald Trump is about to be put to the test — big time [Politico]
Russia Inquiries Overlap in a Tangle of Secrets and Sniping
Comey to testify Monday [New York Times]
White House Installs Political Aides at Cabinet Agencies to Be Trump’s Eyes and Ears
Cabinet heads bristling at the supervision [Washington Post]
"We believe we should have even more assistance. And that's one of the things we're looking at for that person in their 50s and 60s because they experience higher health care cost." — Speaker of the House Paul Ryan hinting at a possible healthcare compromise on Fox News Sunday
"I don't think we regret anything." — White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer on whether the Administration regrets repeating a baseless accusation that British intelligence surveilled President Donald Trump
Bits and Bites
Was Trump Golfing? White House Shrouds Time at His Clubs in Mystery [New York Times]